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Astronomy news. New! Earth-like extrasolar planet found; double helix nebula; supermassive black holes, astronomy articles, astronomy pictures. Updated daily.
Updated: 15 hours 21 min ago

Experiment makes substantial leap forward in quest for dark matter

Wed, 03/01/2017 - 1:20pm
New research represents a significant improvement on previous detection constraints, and a substantial step forward in the search for dark matter.

Rapid changes point to origin of ultra-fast black hole 'burp'

Wed, 03/01/2017 - 1:20pm
Scientists have made the most detailed observation yet of a black hole outflow, from the active galaxy IRAS 13224-3809. The outflow's temperature changed on time scales of less than an hour -- hundreds of times faster than ever seen before. The rapid fluctuations in the outflow's temperature also indicated that the outflow was responding to X-ray emissions from the accretion disk, a dense zone of gas and other materials that surrounds the black hole.

Hunting for giant planet analogs in our own backyard

Wed, 03/01/2017 - 1:05pm
There may be a large number of undetected bright, substellar objects similar to giant exoplanets in our own solar neighborhood, according to new work.

Astronomy: Dark matter mapped

Wed, 03/01/2017 - 10:56am
One of the highest-resolution maps of dark matter ever created has now been revealed, offering a detailed case for the existence of cold dark matter -- sluggish particles that comprise the bulk of matter in the universe.

First solar images from NOAA's GOES-16 satellite

Wed, 03/01/2017 - 10:54am
The first images from the Solar Ultraviolet Imager or SUVI instrument aboard NOAA's GOES-16 satellite have been successful, capturing a large coronal hole on Jan. 29, 2017.

Scars from the Big Bang: Galaxy cluster and cosmic background

Wed, 03/01/2017 - 10:54am
The events surrounding the Big Bang were so cataclysmic that they left an indelible imprint on the fabric of the cosmos. We can detect these scars today by observing the oldest light in the universe.

A new cosmic survey offers unprecedented view of galaxies

Wed, 03/01/2017 - 10:54am
Scientists have published a 'cosmic census' of a large swath of the night sky containing roughly 100 million stars and galaxies, including some of the most distant objects in the universe. These high-quality images allow an unprecedented view into the nature and evolution of galaxies and dark matter.

The heat is on

Wed, 03/01/2017 - 8:52am
NASA is developing a new family of flexible heat-shield systems with a woven carbon-fiber base material, and is using X-rays to test the designs.

A galaxy on the edge

Wed, 03/01/2017 - 8:49am
This colorful stripe of stars, gas, and dust is actually a spiral galaxy named NGC 1055. Captured here by ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT), this big galaxy is thought to be up to 15 percent larger in diameter than the Milky Way. NGC 1055 appears to lack the whirling arms characteristic of a spiral, as it is seen edge-on. However, it displays odd twists in its structure that were probably caused by an interaction with a large neighboring galaxy.

NASA study hints at possible change in water 'fingerprint' of comet

Tue, 02/28/2017 - 6:52pm
A trip past the sun may have selectively altered the production of one form of water in a comet -- an effect not seen by astronomers before, a new study suggests.

Scientists reach back in time to discover some of the most power-packed galaxies

Tue, 02/28/2017 - 8:43am
When the universe was young, a supermassive black hole heaved out a jet of particle-infused energy that raced through space at nearly the speed of light. Billions of years later, scientists has identified this black hole and four others similar to it that range in age from 1.4 billion to 1.9 billion years old.

Volcanic hydrogen spurs chances of finding exoplanet life

Mon, 02/27/2017 - 3:20pm
Hunting for habitable exoplanets now may be easier: astronomers report that hydrogen pouring from volcanic sources on planets throughout the universe could improve the chances of locating life in the cosmos.

Stars regularly ripped apart by black holes in colliding galaxies

Mon, 02/27/2017 - 12:04pm
Astronomers have found evidence demonstrating that stars are ripped apart by supermassive black holes 100 times more often than previously thought.

First evidence of rocky planet formation in Tatooine-like system

Mon, 02/27/2017 - 12:02pm
Evidence of planetary debris surrounding a double sun, 'Tatooine-like' system has been found for the first time, report investigators.

Cosmic blast from the past

Fri, 02/24/2017 - 11:17am
Three decades ago, a massive stellar explosion sent shockwaves not only through space but also through the astronomical community. SN 1987A was the closest observed supernova to Earth since the invention of the telescope and has become by far the best studied of all time, revolutionizing our understanding of the explosive death of massive stars.

Saturn's rings viewed in the mid-infrared show bright Cassini division

Fri, 02/24/2017 - 9:25am
Researchers has succeeded in measuring the brightnesses and temperatures of Saturn's rings using the mid-infrared images taken by the Subaru Telescope in 2008. They reveal that, at that time, the Cassini Division and the C ring were brighter than the other rings in the mid-infrared light and that the brightness contrast appeared to be the inverse of that seen in the visible light. The data give important insights into the nature of Saturn's rings.

Mars More Earth-like than moon-like

Fri, 02/24/2017 - 9:25am
Mars' mantle may be more complicated than previously thought, report researchers. Their report documents geochemical changes over time in the lava flows of Elysium, a major martian volcanic province.

Vast luminous nebula poses a cosmic mystery

Thu, 02/23/2017 - 12:43pm
Astronomers have found an enormous, glowing blob of gas in the distant universe, with no obvious source of power for the light it is emitting. Called an 'enormous Lyman-alpha nebula' (ELAN), it is the brightest and among the largest of these rare objects, only a handful of which have been observed.

Space dust deploy bubble parachutes on their fiery descent, scientists discover

Thu, 02/23/2017 - 10:20am
Bubbles acting like parachutes are deployed by some cosmic dust particles on their entry into Earth’s atmosphere, preventing them from burning up.

Neural networks promise sharpest ever images

Thu, 02/23/2017 - 9:24am
Telescopes, the workhorse instruments of astronomy, are limited by the size of the mirror or lens they use. Using 'neural nets', a form of artificial intelligence, a group of Swiss researchers now have a way to push past that limit, offering scientists the prospect of the sharpest ever images in optical astronomy.